Have there been any updates about if/when the Librem 14 would be available with ISO layout keyboards? I don’t much care about the labels on the keys, as long as the layout is physically correct.
Here are some pictures of an EVT2 sample so you can see the minor improvements we’d still like to make. In the front view you can see the keyboard layout is almost there. We want to tweak the print of the letters to be a bit thinner and improve the overall quality of the keyboard printing (you can see an example of room for improvement in the F3 key).
Q: What about international keyboard layouts?
A: At the moment we will only be providing the Librem 14 with the current keyboard layout. We might consider other keyboard layouts at some point in the future if there is sufficient demand to justify keeping a large number of that layout in stock.
Thanks. Well, that’s disappointing.
This would be a larger mechanical change, changing the molds and tools for the C-shell (where the keyboard is sitting in) and new keyboards. This kind of change requires a large MOQ and in the past we had German and UK keyboards but sadly the investment in these changes never recouped So ATM we are a bit on hold with it until we have a business case for it.
Frankly, this is kinda ableistic. My nervous system is gltichy, making typing already challengin a lot of the time, and I rely on muscle memory with passwords (really struggle with passwords). I use German QWERTZ (what’s with that Z?!?) just fine cause the physical layout is the same as FI/SWE, but US keyboards are so different to most others that it’s perplexing it’s the defacto default with no allowance for needing more keys. I know enough about manufacturing processes and CAD to comfortable claim it wouldn’t have been too expensive to design compatibliity in before paying for the tooling, but after the fact can nearly double the costs ofc. Demonstrates intellectual laziness IMO, which makes me doubt the otherwise convincing display of openness and integrity on your website. Was ready to fork over a significant sum. I might still go for the Mini and just forgo the conveniences a laptop enables (conveniences that are really important for a neurodivergent person such as myself) so I can secure my investment business (got interested in investing your company too actually, would love to advertise to fellow investors). Knowing this lack of support for international users was just a lapse in otherwise good judgement would greatly help me in my decision…
you’re going to have to explain this, since it’s certainly not self-explanatory.
Nicole explained pretty clearly that we were unable to make the business case for having an additional keyboard layout. It’s not a hard calculation - I’d expect we simply look at the % of orders from previous laptops which were for a non-US layout, apply that to the expected sales of the L14, and compare the profit from those sales against the cost of supporting an additional layout. If it were all close, we probably would have opted to have both, but it wasn’t (from what I understand).
I consider myself lucky having been able to get two Librems with German layout
Really hope the opportunity will come again, but I understand the problem.
Based on everything I know about this topic by now, my suggestion would be to try something like this:
- If possible, try to make a C-Shell that can be used with both types of layout (e.g. with a small removable part or something like that)
- First, try with user-applied stickers for international layouts (reason: have only two configurations instead of three, five, …) I’m pretty sure one reason this has not been picked up is that it goes a bit against the high quality Purism strives for, but it might be the best way to get a grip
- Next, make sure the layouts will get media coverage in the target markets. A real good opportunity for this (please don’t miss ) would be the opening of a European store. I really do think one of the major problems is that Purism is not well known enough in the target markets.
- Another way to avoid the problem of stocking too much might be to not try so stock intl layouts, but rather have batched orders. E.g., “300 more orders necessary for the next run of intl layout laptops”. I think many would be willing to wait a year or more.